Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Soldier in the Army of God

Pastor read the following this morning and I wanted to post it here. I don't know who wrote it but it is something I desire to become part of me. Experts say a habit (good or bad) takes 21 days to be developed....yep this is my daily read for the next 21+ days! If anyone wants to copy this...go for it, I just have one little request....please leave it intact and react to it whole hearted, let it become who you are in Christ.

A Soldier in the Army of God

I am a soldier in the army of God! The Lord Jesus Christ is my Commanding Officer. The Holy Bible is my code of conduct. Faith, prayer & the Word of God are my weapons of warfare.

I have been taught by the Holy Spirit, trained by experience, tried by adversity and tested by fire! I am a volunteer in this army, and I am enlisted for eternity.

I will either retire in this army at the Rapture...or die in this army...but I will not get out, sell out, be talked out, or pushed out!!!

I am faithful, reliable, capable, and dependable. If my God needs me, I am there! If he needs me in Sunday school, to teach children, work with the youth, help adults or just sit and learn, He can use me because I am there. I am a Soldier!

I am not a baby. I do not need to be pampered, petted, primed up, pumped up, picked up, or pepped up! I am a Soldier.

No one has to call me, remind me, write me, visit me, entice me, or lure me. I am a Soldier!

I am NOT a wimp! I am in place, saluting my King, obeying His orders, praising His name and building His kingdom.

No one has to send me flowers, gifts, food, cards, candy or give me handouts. I do not need to be cuddled, cradled, cared for, or catered to. I am a Soldier!

I cannot have my feelings hurt bad enough to turn me around. I cannot be discouraged enough to turn me aside. I cannot lose enough to cause me to quit. When Jesus called me into this army, I had nothing. If I end up with nothing, I will still come out even! I will will!

My God will supply ALL my needs. I am more than a conqueror. I will ALWAYS triumph! I can do ALL things through Christ!!!

Devils cannot defeat me. People cannot disillusion me. Weather cannot weary me. Sickness cannot stop me. Battles cannot beat me. Money cannot buy me. Governments cannot silence me and HELL CANNOT HANDLE ME!!!!

I AM A SOLDIER!!! Even death cannot destroy me! For when my Commander calls me from this battlefield, He will promote me to a Captain and then bring me back to rule this world with Him!

I AM A SOLDIER, marching, heaven bound! Here I stand!


Being Real

I ran into a friend & former co-worker that I haven't seen in wow 3 years! We stood outside the gas station talking and he told me to be behave myself. I told him that would be easy and he just laughed and said uh huh like he didn't believe me. But it got me thinking nonetheless. Am I the real deal...transparent before God and man? I like to think so.

The Father's word says confession is good for the with that in mind I must confess I got behind in my reading....4 days worth of devotions due to life crowding in....yet fodder for another blog. Thank goodness I get up early on Sundays, I read all 4 days worth and there were 2 from Daily Bread that stuck out and got me to thinking again about my encounter with Darrin. When people see me, do they see the real deal? Am I truly the same in day to day life like I am in church... or do I put on that wonderful "church" face just on Sundays?

Both devotionals centered around the same basic scripture but in different books of the Bible. The first one referenced Matthew 15:1-9 (go read it) and the devotion was about hypocrisy. How "non-christians" point out hypocrisy they see in us christians and use that as their excuse not to seek out God....but funny thing is the "non-christians" are really agreeing with God....check it out in verses 8-9 "These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men." In this section of scripture the Pharisees were admonishing Jesus' disciples because they didn't wash their hands before the meal. The true law concerning washing was for the Levite priests to wash their hands before consuming the holy offering, but man changed it to suit himself. Ugh that flesh thing!

The second devotion referenced Mark 7:5-15 (again go read it), this was also the same senario but Mark's telling of it. This devotion was about lip service and being phony before God in worship.

My life day to day should be a testimony of God and His love sprinkled with my worship and love for Him for all to see. I should be a transparent open book for others to read. My Pastor said it one time before, if all the Bibles in the world were banned and disappeared what Bible would the non-christians have to read but your very life before God. I got to reading other people's blogs and pondering my question before God. Am I a hypocrite & do I give lip service or am I truly transparent before Him and others??........then faithful as He always is, He reminded me of a posting someone put on their blog about me and I had my answer.

Are you the real deal? Or are you like the Pharisees, dealing out God's law according to man on Sunday and living like hell Monday-Saturday? When you do go to church, are you worshipping out of your heart truthfully before God? Do you really mean those words you are singing or is it just lip service? Well beloveds, we christians are the Bible for most yourselves up and let others read what God has done in your lives and how God has loved you at your worst. Is this a vulnerable place to be? Yep....let's face it not every book in your public library is liked by everyone. But it is an awesome place to be as it is SO much less work being real then pretending. Have a blessed day in the Lord and thanks for sharing this journey with me.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Living Word

I have been sick the past few days and hadn't been able to focus very well, but this morning I am feeling better and I sat with my Lord & devotionals this morning in the sunshine. I am working through 3 devotionals daily....The Daily Bread, My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, & Daily With the King by W. Glyn Evans. I read and I's pondering comes from Daily With the King, "When Jesus Becomes Incarnational"

John 1:1-2 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God." WHO was the word? Jesus, Himself, gave us the answer when He said, "I AM the word, the truth, the life." Let us rephrase what God said...."in the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word (Jesus) was God." Jesus is the Word......the Living Word.

Back to Mr. Evan's thoughts "Jesus did not write a textbook about theology, He lived it. John 1:14 "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us." I know of another instance that the breathe of God became flesh....Adam. It has been referred that Jesus is the second Adam....but that is fodder for another blog ;o). One of the things we Christians should be doing, not out of duty but out of love for God, is being in the Word. I just love it when God gives me "word" plays......we are to be in the Word. We are to be reading and living the Word of God.....but we are also supposed to be in the Jesus. I can hear the calls to the nut house already....hang up your phone, put down your stone, take a seat and let me finish HIStory....don't you just love that word play HIStory. Let's do a little scripture diving....hey don't take my word for it, grab your bible and follow along.....

1John 4:7-16 Don't frown, this is a bit long of a read but ALL things work for HIS glory and our good and this will surely be good for you. Did you check out verse 9? "In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him." How about verses 12-13? "No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected (matured) in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit." Still not convinced?? Keep reading down to verse 15 "Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him and he in God." Now go back to our beginning verse....ha don't you love that play on words...beginning verse....John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God."

Did you catch it? Are you in the Word daily getting your portion? Are you allowing the Word to become active and change the life you are living? Remember we are not our own, we were bought with a price, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Today's thought brings back a song I heard from the Rock Church in Baltimore...."Mark My Life" Mark my life, mark my life, so all will know I am Yours, cause a flood of Your glory, to fill all those around me, & mark my life with Your love." I encourage you dear reader to allow God to mark your life with HIS love & HIS Word. Have a blessed day!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

It Ain't Over Til the Fat Lady Sings & I ain't singing it!

Pastor gave an unusual Easter sermon today...but hey my pastor isn't the conventional type. He preached on the status of your napkin. Ok before you gather stones and start googling where I live and worship...pull up a stump and listen to my story as granny would say.

It all started with Pastor handing out some paper napkins to each one of us with instructions of unfolding it and setting it close to be handy. You see there is a Hebrew custom that if one isn't done eating the diner would fold his/her napkin and lay it by his/her plate. This was a signal to the servant's that the diner wasn't done and not clear his/her plate.

Pastor went on to read the "normal" Easter scriptures...John 19:28-30, John 20:1-7, John 14:1-14. He went on to say that when Jesus died on the cross and was buried in the tomb but His story and our story wasn't over. Jesus wasn't finished and neither should we be. Check it out...John 20:6-7 " Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself." Did you catch that?? The handkerchief, some translations read "napkin" was folded together in a place by itself. Jesus wasn't and isn't done. Hallelujah!

In a boxing match, when the fighter is wearing thin from the match and the trainer wants to stop the fight, the trainer throws in the towel. So what are you going to do with your napkin? was Pastor's question. He said it was a personal choice and there wasn't any shame in our wadding up our napkin as long as we didn't throw it away. A friend of mine made his choice a couple of years ago, he confessed that this christian walk was harder then he could bear. Yes he has stepped away from the Lord, but he didn't hide his wadded up napkin so to speak. He didn't pretend his walk with God was ok, while inside he was moving further and further from God. God is calling him back I am pleased to say....pray with me that "Jason" will heed the call of the Lord and return!

So....I am sure you are wondering about my napkin. Well beloved if you are wondering I would highly suggest you read the previous posts of this blog. This "fat" lady isn't going to sing the song of the quitter! My napkin is pressed within the pages of my bible. It is now my bookmark, a reminder to not give up, to not quit & throw in the towel coz Jesus surely isn't done with me yet & I still have a lot to do for Him.

Speaking of "return to the Lord". I heard a song by Pablo Perez from the International House of Prayer....awesome song. I can't get it out of my head nor my heart. I heard this song about 2-3 weeks ago and it has been a prayer on my lips since. That this nation will return to her Lord God, that individuals would return to the Lord God. I pray those that don't know of Jesus and His love for them will come to know Him. I pray that those who have turned their backs on God will return, that their hearts be set ablaze with passion for Jesus like never before. I have been praying this humble blog will reach millions for my Lord & King. I have been praying...........

Resurrection Morning

I am an early riser by nature it seems. I never was one to sleep in to noon. This morning when I rolled over in bed at 6:50 a.m. I had a song in my heart and on my lips....Alleluia He is Risen, Alleluia He is here! A song I heard & sang on my Emmaus walk. For those who don't know what that is...well all I can say is it is a weekend encounter with Christ. For those who know DeColores, He is Risen indeed.

I know I haven't posted in a couple of weeks, it is because I have been busy. Not so much with earthly things such as work...that has been busy enough, thank You Jesus for the answers to prayer there. No beloveds I have been busy, pondering Christ's work on the cross in preparation of this Resurrection Morning.

This world got so independent from little ones starting to realize they can do things on their own, we adults got bullheaded and independent from God. We decided that we knew ourselves better then the One that created us. The propensity to sin entered in with Adam, but we can't blame Adam for our own CHOICES. Boy that word has been ringing loudly to me for the past 2-3 years is what I call the secret of life....CHOICE. Back to my train of thought, because of our own choices we got further and further away from God. God created us so He could have fellowship with us, not just so we could take care of everything He created, but to have fellowship with Him. But we allowed our choices to crowd out His voice, to take over time in His presence. Adam & Eve before the fall took time out in the cool of the evening to walk with God throughout the garden talking and getting to know one another better. Adam & Eve related to God in a personal way.

Today is a day many will come to church because it is Easter. But will they relate with what Christ accomplished on the cross. Back in the garden the first sacrifice was made for sin. Take a look at it in Genesis 3:21 "Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them." I did Beth Moore's God inspired study of the tabernacle, "A Woman's Heart, God's Dwelling Place." Personally I thought it pertained to men as well and should have read A Child of God's heart, God's dwelling place, but I guess it was birthed during a women's conference and therefore got the distinction of a woman's heart....ah rabbit trailing again. Anyway it was an awesome study, but I got a chuckle from my friend who was leading the study. When she got to this scripture, she called me and asked about skinning an animal what happens to the animal. I was surprised, but also aware of her child like faith and honored she asked me the answer.

The answer was think about a dog or cat you love and have grown up with. Now think about pulling all it's skin off. You have pulled a hang nail before, it got deeper and deeper when you pulled and you bled. Well God had to mercifully dispatch (aka kill) the animal before He skinned it to make a covering for Adam & Eve. Here was the first blood sacrifice for the atonement of sin. Keep reading God's love letter & basic instructions, His Holy Word, the Bible. In Exodus/Leviticus He gives detailed instructions for the priests on what is required for a sin offering. The sacrifice of an animal and how the blood was to be sprinkled on the mercy seat and the horns of the altar.

Jesus is that sacrificial Lamb. Sin abounded in this world, but the grace & mercy of God abounded more. God sent His only Son, Jesus, to come into this world to teach the love and mercy of the Father. At the appointed time Jesus was broken & bruised for our iniquity (sin), He was hung on a cross like a common thief, He died upon that cross and was buried in a tomb for 3 days. On Resurrection Morning the stone was rolled away, not for Jesus to leave the tomb....He had already left, but for those coming to mourn Him could see He was no longer there.

It's Resurrection Morning....Jesus desires to resurrect your life from that of sin to one of grace. Grace isn't a gift from God....Grace is a gift of God. God is love, but He is also this gift isn't just something He gives, it is a part of Himself He graciously offers all of His children. Romans 5:17 "For if by the one man's (Adam's) offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ." Though sin may abound more and more in this world (take a look at the news) so much more God's grace is abounding, overcoming that sin.

We are walking in the end times beloveds...make no mistake about that. It was declared on the news the other day that the US is no longer a "christian" nation. We haven't been standing up and doing what God has desired, we haven't been the example of Him before the world. We like the first children, Adam & Eve, have decided to do our "own thing" because we foolishly believe we know ourselves better then the one who created us. Oh God let Your never ending grace cover us today, may we all walk in Your grace fully understanding the sacrifice of Your Son Jesus to make that grace available to each and everyone of us. May we arise and fully walk in your resurrection power today and everyday until the final trumpet blows, in Jesus' mighty name, amen and amen and amen. Let it be according to your word.

Take time out today to spend it with God. For those that have video stores open in their community, go rent the Passion of the Christ, directed by Mel Gibson. Get a box of tissues on the way home, if your heart is tender and open to God you will need them. Watch this movie with the understanding that if you were the only person on earth, that Jesus would have endured all of it just for YOU. This is a very graphic and at times bloody movie, but it gives you a glimpse of what Jesus endured for you. When you get done watching the movie honestly ask yourself if anyone in your circle of friends or family would be willing to do that for will find that there isn't anyone but Jesus who was willing to endure all of that just for you.